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Jane Goodall: A brief bio about this animal rights activist

jane goodall

Jane Morris Goodall is a renowned Animal Rights Activist, primatologist and scientist who got the fame from her study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees. She has carried out the study about the closest relatives to mankind for over 55 years, that is since she first went to Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania in 1960.

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee
Juvenile Chimpanzee at Ngamba Island

The 84 year old British National has since then dedicated her time to advocacy on behalf of Chimpanzees and the environment. She travels 300 days a year to be a voice for the chimpanzees and as a result, her works have earned her positions, honors and awards.

She is an extraordinary individual whose inspiration, dedication and significant contribution to chimpanzee conservation advanced the establishment of Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Uganda. Currently, thousands of tourists come from different corners of the world to take safaris to the Ngamba Chimpanzee habituation island inside Lake Victoria.

Early Life

Jane Goodall was born in 1934 in Hampstead to Mortimer Herbert Morris Goodall, a businessman, and Margaret Myfanwe Joseph, a novelist. She has one Sister called Judith.

How she came to like Animals

Jane Goodall with Jubilee

As a child, her father gave Goodall a stuffed chimpanzee named Jubilee, and she has said her fondness for it started her early love of animals especially these apes.

She came to Africa in 1950’s and settled at a friend’s farm in Kenya Highlands in 1957 where she worked first as a secretary. She was later appointed as by Dr Louis Leakey (1903 – 1972), a notable archeologist whose work was important in demonstrating that humans evolved in Africa, particularly through discoveries made at Olduvai Gorge, to work as his secretary. He had seen the love of animals in her.!!!

Leakey not only sent Goodall to London to study primate behavior, he also made different support towards her journey of being an activist to animals.

primatologist jane goodall
primatologist Jane Goodall

Relationships and Family

Dame Jane Goodall has been married twice. The first was in 1964 when she got married to a Dutch nobleman and wildlife photographer Baron Hugo van Lawick. The two were blessed by a son, Hugo Eric Louis who she gave birth to in 1967.

However, Jane and Baron divorced in 1974 and in the following year she married Derek Bryceson, a member of Tanzania’s parliament and the director of the country’s national parks by then. Derek died of cancer in October 1980.

Awards and recognition

Debbie Cox of the Jane Goodall Institute
Debbie Cox of the Jane Goodall Institute with Chimpanzees

Jane Goodall has received many honors for her environmental and humanitarian work, as well as others. The most notable ones including being named a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2004 just two years after former United Nations (UN) General Secretary Kofi Annan had named her a UN Messenger of Peace.

To her name, she has a long list of awards and accolades for the great work she has done to conserve the primates and other animals at large, her first being the Order of the Golden Ark, World Wildlife Award for Conservation.

She has been named in a number of books and her name Goodall being a subject of more than 40 films.

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Written by Kalema Lawrence

No one tells me what to write, so I will never tell you what to think.

Full-time entertainment blogger and seasoned Travel article writer. Reach me at +256 703 245760 and

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